After being named this year’s friendliest suburb, the small community of South Kolan got together yesterday and celebrated with a street party.
With thousands of votes in the Bundaberg Broadcaster’s friendliest suburb competition it was a close race but the South Kolan community came out smiling as the victors.
Located almost in the centre of the Bundaberg Region, the community of South Kolan has shown being small and kind is the way to go.
For a quarter of a century Dick Culey has called South Kolan home and it’s the family atmosphere and community pride that has kept him there.
Dick said he wasn’t surprised by South Kolan winning the friendliest suburb competition, and it proved he had settled in the right area.
“All my family live in the area,” he said.
“I was born in Bundaberg, did a stint in the Navy then retired out here to South Kolan.
“As you can see grandparents all the way down to grandchildren love it here – it’s a welcoming place to live.”
From floods to the friendliest, South Kolan is fantastic
South Kolan Hotel Motel owners Alec and Jo Duffy hosted the street party and they were both instrumental in spreading the word about the friendliest suburb on social media.
“We feel fantastic, this just cements the fact that we really are Bundaberg’s friendliest neighbourhood,” Jo said.
“We’ve been through a lot with this community, including the 2013 floods where we opened the doors for people to come here for simple things like a shower.
“Alec is fourth generation South Kolan, and our son is fifth generation, we have owned the pub for 10 years, we wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
With his roots deeply entrenched in South Kolan, Alec said the community spirit was always strong and one of the benefits of living in a small regional area was that everyone knew everyone.
“It’s the kind of place if you break down on the side of the road people will still pull up to see if you are okay,” he said.
“We want to give everyone a pat on the back – for a community of 1000 to win a competition like this, it is outstanding.”
Divisional representative Cr Wayne Honor joined the community to celebrate being named the friendliest suburb and said there was something special about South Kolan.
Cr Honor said the friendships formed during the 2013 floods, like many others over the decades, were still strong.
“This place is the crossroads in the Bundaberg Region, halfway to everywhere,” Cr Honor said.
“This is a great opportunity for such a small community to demonstrate the friendliness.
“Our mission statement at Bundaberg Regional Council is to build the best regional community in Australia, and this is the hub – it all spreads out from here.”
Jo agreed saying friends and family in different parts of the region often met in the middle, and that just happened to be on the pub’s doorstep.
Bundaberg Broadcasters general manager Corey Pitt said the friendliest suburb promotion was about getting people to realise the positives in their community and to talk about what they loved about it.
“We wanted locals to talk about why they believed their suburbs was so friendly, whether it’s the friendliest street or the friendliest little area,” Corey said.
“We have so much in Bundaberg that we love and we don’t always get the opportunity to celebrate that as a collective.”
Four Walls realty’s Shania Heffler said South Kolan was a deserving winner and they were happy to sponsor Bundaberg Broadcasters Bundaberg’s friendliest suburb competition.
“It’s definitely a good suburb, I love the family atmosphere out here,” she said.
“We love to support local businesses, and this is the perfect way to do that.”
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